Six days into my adventure in Jordan and I have already coughed, climbed, smoked, trekked, and swam my way around this beautiful country with some wonderful new friends along the way.
I will also never complain about traffic in LA anymore.
I have to start off by saying that Jordanians - to my disbelief - have been more honest than people in most countries I've traveled to. Twice I made the silly mistake of giving a 50 Dinar bill ($75 dollar bill!) instead of a 5 Dinar bill ($7 dollars) since they look similar, and both times they corrected me. I feel like in a lot of countries like China, people would capitalize on my mistake and cheat me but not in Jordan, so far it seems.
Amman (the capital) is such an old city that you literally have 2,000 year-old Roman ruins casually sandwiched between apartment buildings and shops. The amount of history in this country is simply overwhelming and I love it! It may not be the cleanest of cities, but it certainly has many amazing stories to tell.
I've been in great company at my hostel and have made a bunch of new friends from Kentucky, Canada, Spain, Australia, and even a guy from Libya who fought in the revolution against Ghaddafi. I also found out that Jordan actually has liquor stores!
Around the city, I couldn't believe that after so much time, these old buildings, streets, theaters, were all still around.
Between taking a sick day here and there, I took day trips with friends to Jerash - Emperor Hadrian's favorite Roman city - and old crusader castles along the Syrian and Iraqi border. I'd have to say though, I'm getting a little Roman ruin-ed out.

Jordan is basically the gateway between the Mediterranean and the Middle East and has a feel similar to Turkey. The people have certainly been just as welcoming!
One of my new friends from Kentucky (Andrew) and I also took a trip to the Dead Sea. I found out that floating in the water isn't just something you can do, you actually can't NOT FLOAT. It's impossible to sink below chest level and even standing in the water is difficult.

While there, I watched a lady almost drown because she swam on her stomach and couldn't flip over; they say over 3 people drown every year in the Dead Sea for that very reason.

The floating feeling is nothing like I've ever experienced as well as the saltiness which - in the eye - as you can imagine, hurts so much it's blinding. I also found out the hard way that I had a cut on my foot...

Funnily enough, we went swimming afterwards in a regular pool and I had problems staying afloat after being so used to the weightlessness.
I also took a ride out to the desert castles in East Jordan with a few new friends. These aren't your typical King Arthur knight-and-horse castles per se, but were actually rest stops for people crossing the desert.
Jordan has been a pleasant surprise so far and I'll definitely be staying longer than planned, thanks to my spontaneously flexible travel plans.

I also realized that this is the first September I have not been in school since 1996. Instead, here I am across the world, exploring this wonderful country with awesome people I've met along the way! I feel pretty lucky every day I wake up and realize I'm on this journey.
Stephanie G
9/5/2012 07:13:03 am

Great photos! It looks like you're having fun. Stay safe!

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9/5/2012 12:38:38 pm

OMG I'm so jealous... Look at those pictures! You're a great photographer as always :) I wanna hear more about the foods! Are they tasty? Glad you're safe and having fun :)

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Logan
9/5/2012 12:46:24 pm

very interesting country; Jordan cities looks wonderful! I like it better than man made Dubai---old culture vs new culture.
ironically; it seems not easy to be dead in dead sea, skinny people float too.
good photography on the city night.
blue sky feels peaceful, why are countries in this area always fighting each other? what a pity!

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Your Sister
9/9/2012 02:17:05 am

BTW- your camel souk and the Dubai call videos are repeat of your ski video and desert. Idk if you noticed that lol.

I never thought you would meet SO MANY travelers along the way! Seems like you got like a big decent group there!

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